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Read the conversation that follows among two students who are studying leadership program.

Student A: How did you find out the session today?

Student B: Challenging and thought-provoking.

Student A: Well, we spoke regarding leadership. Do you think that leadership can be learnt? Are leaders born and/or made?

Student B: This is a very debatable and controversial problem, whether leadership is an art or a science, whether leadership is innate or can be acquired and whether leaders are born or made. I believe that if we consider leadership to be an art and if we stretch this view to the intense, we will end up saying that only a handful few people can attain to become leaders and that the others are doomed to follow and that leadership is reserved for the few. Here, the problem we ask ourselves is -Is there no body of knowledge which can be passed on to others?

Student A: However, let me remind you that those, who espouse the idea that leadership is an art, base themselves on the fact that leaders have some innate qualities or characteristics in them that make them shine or distinguish them from others. They consider leadership calls for qualities which are unique to a person. This would describe that while some person might be successful and effectual leaders, others might totally fail although they are placed in same condition and circumstance.

Student B: Well, throughout the discussion in the class, we have those who state that leadership is a science. I believe that they have based themselves on the fact that once a leader becomes acquainted with the theories and/or styles of leadership, kinds of organizations and any other related issues; he/she can become a good leader. They claim that leadership is not just innate and believe that if one adopts the characteristics of leaders and do what they do, one can become a leader.

Student A: Do you still remember the interesting point which John Marsh, a former director of the Institute of Management, raised by his use of the words ‘an art and a science’. He stated that though most of the management methods are ‘scientific’ in the sense that they based on quantification and objectivity, and much of management writing and research is scientific in that it based on controlled experiments and measurement, there is still much of the art left. There are still lots of fields, and some might say they are the most significant fields, where hunch, flair and intuition play a main part. This is why it is not possible to teach an individual to be a manager; he/she can only be helped to develop - to build on the potential that he/she has. In another words, one can teach people to manage better, however one can’t give them a fundamental managerial ability if they have not already got it.

Student B: Well, this debate will go on however let us have something from the canteen and get in as the session looks tumultuous.

Student A: You are right. Let us go.

a) prepare a critical analysis of this conversation in which you will have to describe the subject in hand.

b) State your own views and opinions regarding this subject. Support with relevant illustrations.

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